In the world of “Me, Myself & I” blogs, readers may not take you as credible enough if expert opinions are not included. If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want not only traffic but also authority that will help you attract qualified leads for your business.
But, every guest blog post can’t bring you relevant traffic, and that’s why you have to understand how to do it properly before you can implement it in your inbound marketing strategy. In order to bring relevant traffic to your website, a guest blog post has to have the right intent and be of the highest quality.
Guest Blogging Goals
In marketing, every successful approach starts with having goals in mind. You have to know where you want to go and what to expect along the way. Guest blogging should be aligned with the following goals of your company:
- Driving Traffic to Relevant Pages — Guest blogging can be a tool that can increase your website traffic. Whether you blog on another site or bring someone to blog on your page, the guest blog post can reach to a large and attentive audience that you couldn’t reach before.
- Building Brand and Product/Service Awareness — No matter what industry you’re in, you can use guest blogging to increase brand awareness and grow your customer base. Guest blogging is a perfect way for you to reach your audience through an established platform.
- Improving SEO — Guest blogging is an effective strategy when it comes to SEO. Having a link on low-quality blogs is almost fruitless, but, having a post on sites with recognized authority in your industry is an excellent way to raise visibility, traffic, and better search rankings.
- Increasing Subscribers – There are many ways to increase your email subscribers list, and guest blogging is one of them. You need to look for influential blogs and craft the perfect post for the audience. If allowed, you can also include a link to your landing page in your bio, instead of the homepage.
Having these goals in mind will help you to create a framework that will bring readers that always got what they were promised in the blog post headline when they read one of your posts.
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Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
Before you start writing your guest post, you have to know where to submit the post. You must look for websites that actively seek quality contributors like yourself. Above all, you need to be certain that the post will help you in achieving your inbound marketing goals.
There are lots of ways to find opportunities where you can submit your guest article. The easiest way is to conduct a Google search to look for websites that can accept your article. You can use the following formulas in your search query:
- (keyword/phrase) + “write for us”
- (keyword/phrase) + “submit guest post”
- (keyword/phrase) + “contribute to our blog”
For example, if you write about WordPress Development, you’ll be presented with lots of guest blogging opportunities:
Make a list of the best sites that accept guest posts about your topic and check each site’s credibility and authority. When it comes to guest blogging opportunities, you need to look for sites that:
- Operate In The Same Industry.
- Have a Targeted Following That Matches Your Target Audience.
- Have High Engagement Rates (Lots of Reads, Shares, Likes and Comments).
- Conduct Excellent Distribution Strategy That Ensures Thousands Of Reads.
To evaluate guest blogging opportunities by assessing domain ratings. For the purpose, you can use Moz’s Open Site Explorer. This will tell you how much the audience appreciates the site in terms of domain authority, links and traffic.
Connecting with Blog Owners
Before you approach the website owner for contribution, it is recommended to form a connection online or offline with the person responsible for the blog and guest post submissions. Experts like Neil Patel probably receive thousands of guest post pitches per day, but they either don’t bother for a single one or choose to give a chance to someone that’s been persistent and likeable to them before.
Think of ways to engage with the owner. For example, you can subscribe to their newsletter, contribute with valuable comments on their blog posts and tweet the posts with their handle. Kind words and regular interaction can do a lot of the legwork for you before pitching the blog post idea.
Picking a Blog Topic
Once you have your list of blogs where you want to contribute and you’ve interacted with the blog owners, it’s time to pinpoint a topic that you can pitch. By the time you present your topic, you should’ve already analyzed what performs best on a given website.
Think about how you can add value to the audience, for example:
- Providing more value for a given topic.
- Writing something fresh about the topic that will resonate well with the audience.
If you want to be sure about your topic choice, you can always use BuzzSumo, a powerful online tool that allows any user to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website.
In BuzzSumo, you can find content that performed the best on the website where you want to pitch your topic. Just type the site’s URL in the search bar:
If you notice a topic that is missing from the site or, that is not covered as it should be, that’s an excellent way to start your guest blog pitch. Try to develop a detailed outline for the post that contains compelling advice backed by data and research.
If the site of your target blog has guidelines for guest posting, read them thoroughly, a topic idea might hide there as well or the blog owners outline the ideas that you can pitch.
Executing the Pitch
If you understood the guest post guidelines and what type of post would work on a given blog, it’s time to make the pitch. Before crafting the pitch, there are a couple of things that you need to consider:
- Make the Pitch Short – Influencers and authoritative blog owners don’t have the time to read a long pitch, so don’t waste your opportunity – keep it short and to the point.
- Personalize – Nobody will bother discussing your guest post idea if you at least don’t use their name in the first sentence of the pitch.
A powerful email pitch should incorporate the following elements:
- Appealing Subject Line – As we said above, editors and blog owners are extremely busy people. Don’t start with a generic email subject line. Start with the blog topic instead of a non-specific “I Want To Submit a Guest Blog Post.” Get to the point straight away.
- Intro – Your introduction should ignite the blog owner’s interest. You can outline the problem that your post will solve, you can tell the questions that you’ll answer and describe the solutions that you plan to debate in the post.
- Body Summary – This is where you include the key details and the sources that you’ve researched to develop your content topic. Be specific and explain what the post is about. Communicate the benefits to the readers and support your post with evidence and data.
- The Post Type (Listicle, How to…) – Tell the blog owner how you plan to format your blog post. Perhaps you can develop together a combination that will help the audience to better digest the topic.
- Conclusion and Proper Salutations – Again, be short. Ask politely if they’re interested in the topic and include your signature – don’t forget to add your name, job title, company, phone number and social media profiles.
Writing the Guest Post
If your guest post idea is accepted, you need to start writing the content. The following tips will help you make the best out of your guest post.
Give a Compelling Title
Even if you’ve already pitched the title and the blog owner approved it, you might want to analyze it again to see if something is missing. Make sure that your title is focused on the benefits of the reader, and that the title will motivate users to click on the article.
If you want to know if your headline hits the emotional side of the users, you can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.
Use the Appropriate Keywords
If your guest post ranks well on search engines, it’s a win-win situation for you and for the blog owner. So, just like you research keywords for your blog posts, you should also do your homework when it comes to guest blogging.
If you use your keywords according to Google’s White Hat regulations, Google will know that your content is relevant and push the post higher in SERP.
Read our keyword research guide to learn more about how to pick the perfect keywords for your content.
Great linking helps is crucial for good SEO and this means that you need to incorporate internal and external links in your guest posts. In your guest post, you need to include a link from the blog where you’ve contributed, and also any useful links from other external sites.
Make sure that you follow the blog owner’s linking guidelines and don’t abuse the guest post chance with too many of your own external links.
Include Images and Format Properly
Finding images that emphasize your key blog post points is not easy, but it’s worth it. This will also break up the copy in smaller chunks and sections and make it easier for the audience to scan it.
When it comes to formatting, you need to make your guest post look similar to other posts on the website where you contributed. Examine how the blog owner uses headings, subheadings, bold text, lists etc.
Utilize the Bio
Your bio serves not only for building authority but more importantly, to drive traffic to your website. Some website will give you a word limit for your bio. If you use your words smartly, you’ll have enough space for the wanted effect. As long as necessary, but as short as possible.
It is important that your link leads to your website or to your landing page, resources or social media page. The audience has to meet the guest, so, besides your link, in your bio, you need to include some info about yourself. Tell the audience what you do, what is your mission and how can you help them.
What to Do After the Guest Post Is Published
Having your guest post published is not the end of this inbound marketing tactic. The final details can make the difference between an average and fruitful guest blogging. Here are four things that you can do after your guest post is published:
- Actively Respond to Comments – Don’t disappear after your guest post is published. You should actively follow the blog readers and respond to the comments on your post. These people took the time to read your post, and if they have any additional questions or want to develop a discussion about your ideas, don’t wait to jump it the comments.
- Promote the Blog Post – The more social shares and comments, the bigger the success of the article. If you take the effort to promote your guest article anywhere you can, you will create a win-win situation for the blog owner and yourself in the process. So, share it with your email subscribers and on your social media profiles and pages.
- Stay in Touch with the Blog Owner – It’s not called a relationship for nothing. Guest blogging is not a one-night stand! When your article goes live, send a Thank You email to the blog owner. Let him/her know how much you appreciate the chance to educate his/her audience.
- Develop New Guest Post Ideas – You can come up with different ideas for a new guest blog post that would be useful for the same audience. Also, you can develop content ideas from the audience discussions from your previous guest post. Expand your key points and elaborate how you can add a follow-up post that will help the audience understand the topic further.
Now that you know that even one guest blog posts can do wonders for your inbound marketing strategy, imagine more guest posts. The more guest posts on authoritative websites, the more exposure, authority and better SEO. This leads directly to more leads and more sales for your business.
Think about guest blogging as a long-term inbound marketing strategy, instead of just having a link published on another website. If you execute it properly, the potential for building relationships, expanding your business to bigger markets and audiences is unlimited.